Rather than buying it pre-cut (and potentially dry and definitely a lot more expensive), discover how to cut watermelon at home. Sliced, diced, cubed, or melon-balled, these are the best ways to cut watermelon, according to our Test Kitchen.
Fresh watermelon is a sweet sign of summer, available year-round in the supermarket but at its prime from May through September. The sweet, hydrating fruit is not only a team player in fruit salads and cocktails but also so showy and versatile that we've designed desserts inspired by it and parties that revolve around watermelon.
Since the rind can err on the thick and tough side, many retailers sell pre-cut watermelon. But once you master how to cut watermelon yourself, you'll save money, be able to devour much fresher fruit (who knows how long that's been on the shelf?!), and can customize the shape.
Ahead, discover how to cut a watermelon four ways; into wedges, cubes, sticks, and balls.
How to Cut Watermelon 4 Ways
Before we dive into all of your options for cutting a watermelon, here's a quick refresher about how to pick a watermelon so you can slice into a ripe, juicy fruit. Look for a watermelon that:
Is uniform in shape.
Has a rind with a sheen.
Feels heavy for its size.
Includes a white or yellow "field spot" (a sign that the fruit has been on the ground in the field recently).
Sounds hollow and drum-like when you give the rind a sturdy pat or gentle knock.
How to Cut Watermelon into Triangles (aka Wedges)
To create watermelon wedges or triangles, trim ½ inch or so off one of the watermelon ends so it sits flat on the cutting board. Using a sharp chef's knife, slice the watermelon in half. Place the melon cut-side down on the cutting board, then use the knife to slice 1-inch thick pieces (or your desired width). You should now have several half moon-shaped watermelon pieces. Stack 3 to 4 pieces on top of each other, cut these pieces in half, then in half again if desired for smaller wedges. Repeat to cut the whole melon into triangles.
How to Cut Watermelon into Sticks
To create watermelon sticks that are perfect for parties or a playful service idea (that kids and kids at heart especially adore), trim ½ inch or so off one of the watermelon ends so it sits flat on the cutting board. Using a sharp chef's knife, slice the watermelon in half. Place the melon cut-side down on the cutting board, then use the knife to cut 1-inch slices (or your desired width). Turn the melon 90 degrees and slice perpendicular to the original cuts to create 1-inch sticks.
How to Cut Watermelon into Cubes
Now that you have sticks, you can easily transform these into cubes. Simply cut across the strips to create cubes of watermelon in any size you desire.
How to Cut Watermelon into Melon Balls
To create watermelon balls, trim ½ inch or so off one of the watermelon ends so it sits flat on the cutting board. Using a sharp chef's knife, slice the watermelon in half. Open the watermelon to separate the two halves, then slice each half in half. Position the watermelon quarters so the flesh side faces up. Using a melon-baller or small cookie scoop, press into the watermelon flesh and rotate the scoop to form a ball. Repeat to create as many melon balls as are needed for your recipe or to use up all of the flesh.
FAQs Related to How to Cut a Watermelon
Now that we've covered the basics about how to cut watermelon, we'll wrap things up with all of the answers to the most common questions our Test Kitchen receives related to the topic.
How do you store cut watermelon?
Transfer cut watermelon to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days (for best flavor). You can also freeze watermelon cubes to use later in Watermelon Margaritas, in spirit-free sips like smoothies or Watermelon-Cucumber-Lime Refresher, or as ice cube alternatives to infuse your H2O with a little extra flavor.
How long does a whole watermelon stay fresh?
An uncut watermelon lasts about 7 to 10 days at room temperature, according to the Watermelon Board. Since it's tough to tell how long the melon has been picked already, it's best to cut and consume the watermelon as close as possible to the time you purchase the fruit.
Is watermelon rind edible?
It sure is! You can of course compost it, too, but we love to make Watermelon Pickles using the rind. It is usually left behind but the watermelon rind is completely edible and tastes like a cucumber. They're from the same plant family, called cucurbits. Some pickle the rinds. Others chop for stir-fry.